Bibliophile reviews Volga, Volga: A voyage down the great river (travel)

Author: Lesley Chamberlain
Year published: 1996
Genre: Travelogue

Chamberlain, a former reporter, returns to post-Communist Russia to travel down the Volga. She writes of her journey, people she meets and places she visits, and enriches the travelogue with history, literature and legends connected with the river.

Review: The author obviously has a rather uneasy relationship with Russia and her people. Even though she speaks the language, she finds it hard to understand them: their thinking processes are alien to her and she finds their behaviour contradictory, but she loves the country and its literature and searches for understanding through literary texts, history, legends and the landscape. Trying to understand and analyse the Russian soul proves to be harder than she expected, and she ends up alienated and suffering from culture shock.
The writing is straightforward, journalistic and matter of fact, with an occasional poetic burst.

Rating: An uneasy voyage down one of the world’s famous rivers, among people who haven’t quite come to terms with the end of Communism. 3+ stars.


Maxine said…
Glad to see you are back reading ;-)
Bibliophile said…
Thank you. The change of genre helped a lot.

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